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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Gauntlet

This month is the gauntlet for Boston. They need to do more than just endure it.

2 at .513
day off
3 at .536
1 vs. .541
2 vs. .500
day off
3 vs. .536
4 at .541
3 vs. .500
3 at .469
4 at .536

Those are Boston’s next 25 games, with only one series being with an opponent having a below-average win percentage. Boston has a higher win % than all of them - a mighty .562 - but that’s not far enough ahead for comfort, especially in August. Just about half of these games are with New York and Tampa Bay, the closest divisional foes. The Yankees alone are ten of these games, seven of them being in New York.

September ain’t a cake walk*, either, with more divisional play and a season-ending series against the Astros. But this stretch in August can make a big difference in how September plays out. I’d love to see the Red Sox keep playing as well as they’ve done in the past week or so, but they don’t have the White Sox to beat up any more. This stretch is the gauntlet, and in my opinion they need to do more than just endure it.

For reference: NY has 10 games in this stretch against below-.500 teams (Mets for 4, and 3 each for Jays and Tigers). Tampa Bay has 7, all against the Jays, plus a 3-game set against the .500 Cardinals. We should expect just based on strength of schedule that Boston will lose some ground in the next few weeks to both of them. Hell, the majority of the Orioles’ games in this stretch are against below-.500 teams (Angels, A’s, Jays). If the Red Sox just hold serve here, they don’t have enough of a margin that they can just run out the clock on the season**.

So here’s what I want to see.

- Boston goes at least 6-4 against NY, and at least 1-1 against Tampa;
- Boston goes at least 6-2 against the Cardinals, Orioles, and Jays;
- Boston goes 2-3 against the Indians (4 of the games are on the road).

That would be good for 15-10, and adds a game on the Yankees to help offset the gains the Yankees will surely make based on their schedule. So yeah, what I want to see is Boston doing a little better against these teams in this stretch than they’ve played to date this season. That’s probably unreasonable, but it’s what I think they need to do to set themselves up for a good September.

* I’ve read the Wikipedia entry for this phrase, and I still don’t understand it.

** I challenge you to outdo me by using metaphors from three different sports in a sentence coherently.

villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2017 at 09:05 AM | 105 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 08, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5508797)
The important thing that the Sox just did is take full advantage of the weak schedule. 3-1 against the White Sox would have been fine, 4-0 is an important game in the bank. Likewise 1-1 against Cleveland would have been nice, 2-0 is a banked win. Adding Nunez and Devers means the lineup no longer has that depth problem and the rotation is still very good (though Price for Fister would be a huge upgrade).

That said as you note life gets a lot tougher coming up. However, the Sox are a better team than they were a few weeks ago and they enter this "gauntlet" with a three game cushion. That's not a huge lead but it at least provides some margin of error. I don't think 15-10 is unreasonable and I'd even take 14-11 with 5-5 against the Yanks. Do that and the Sox would be 77-60 with 25 games to go. I'd be surprised if getting to 77 wins at that point doesn't have them in first place.

For all the hubbub this team has been relentlessly consistent this year;

5-5
6-4
5-5
5-5
6-4
6-4
6-4
6-4
6-4
4-6
6-4
2-0

That's the season in ten game increments. I think the solid pitching staff is a big part of that. The worst 50 game stretch this year has been 26-24 and even that puts them at 89 wins right now. I don't think it will be easy and as you say the schedule gets tough so we shouldn't get overly excited about the recent hot streak but I think the Sox are well equipped to manage this part of the schedule. They have the fourth best record in the AL against >.500 teams.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: August 08, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5508848)
That would be good for 15-10, and adds a game on the Yankees to help offset the gains the Yankees will surely make based on their schedule.


I think we often overstate SoS in discussions like these. It would surprise no one if the Yankees went 4-6 against the Mets, Tigers and Jays, because this is baseball and they're not the 2017 Dodgers. They're more likely than not to pick up a game based on schedule, but it's miles short of surely.


   3. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 08, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5509189)
Games with numbers;

.500 the rest of the way: 86-76
at current pace: 91-71
post ASB pace: 91-71
continue home and road pace: 91-71
continue > or < .500 pace: 91-71
the disaster (2011 final 50): 84-78
the dream (2004 final 50): 99-63

Just messing around with all of this the thing that strikes me is the Sox just need to keep doing what they are doing. If they do that I like their chances of winning the division.
   4. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 09, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5509510)
Aug 9:

1942 1st time all major leage game played under lights
1949 Dom DiMaggio's hitting streak ends at 34 vs. NYY. Joe DiMaggio makes shoestrinng catch in 8th to end it
1979 Dennis Eckersley's 7th straight CG: 7-0, 63 IP, 58 H, 15 R, 13 ER, 16 BB, 41 K. 1.86 ERA
1988 Roger Clemens surrenders only walk-off HR of his career: by Joey Meyer of MIL. MIL 3, BOX 2
1994 Andre Dawson's worst day? 0-for-6 w/ 4 Ks - his only 4 K game
2005 Cubs trade Mike Remlinger & cash to BOX for minor leaguer
2008 Mich Hoffpauir, Iowa Cubs, hits 4 homers & flies out to left in the 9th.
2013 Dan Haren: 13th pitcher to beat all teams. Leiter, K. Brown, Mulholland, Schilling, W.Williams, Moyer, Unit, Zito, Vazquez, Padilla, Lowe, Burnett
2014 LAA 5, BOX 4 (19). Both score once in 14th. 6 hours & 31 minutes. Walk-off HR: Albert Pujols






   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 09, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5509518)
2014 LAA 5, BOX 4 (19). Both score once in 14th. 6 hours & 31 minutes. Walk-off HR: Albert Pujols


I remember this game well but not at all. It was a Saturday night, the Sox had faded from the race so I was looking forward to just kicking back with a drink and watching a meaningless baseball game on a beautiful night. Instead about 20 minutes before first pitch I heard a loud "BANG!" in my basement. One of the joints in my water main had burst and suddenly I had this insane rush of water pouring into my basement. By the time I got it cleaned up it was almost midnight and I just said #### it and went to bed.
   6. villageidiom Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5509545)
...and then after a full night of rest, you awoke to find they were still playing.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:19 AM (#5509566)
The 6th and 7th innings last night with Sale reminded me of Pedro at a certain point (2000?), when a guy on base meant he was going to strike out everyone else until the inning was over.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5509578)
1988 Roger Clemens surrenders only walk-off HR of his career: by Joey Meyer of MIL. MIL 3, BOX 2
I didn't think they lost much at all this time of year in '88, but I looked it up and Morgan Magic was more of a July thing than August.
2008 Mich Hoffpauir, Iowa Cubs, hits 4 homers & flies out to left in the 9th.
Must have been one long inning!
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5509598)
The 6th and 7th innings last night with Sale reminded me of Pedro at a certain point (2000?), when a guy on base meant he was going to strike out everyone else until the inning was over.


I can't get over how good he has been. This is something else. I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can because it won't go on forever. Once they got that 1-0 lead I thought "hey, that could be it."
   10. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5509605)
Must have been one long inning!

Meant to put that one in the Cubs list, sorry.
   11. villageidiom Posted: August 09, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5509792)
I gotta say, starting off The Gauntlet™ with a win over the Rays, coupled with a Yankees loss, is fine by me.
   12. Phil Coorey. Posted: August 09, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5510183)
I have friends in Australia who are now in complete "Gauntlet Mode" in our private chats . We have all never been more focused (or scared)

Hope everyone is well.

What a crazy year it's been. This division would be over if they could hit like we thought they would.

   13. villageidiom Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:13 PM (#5510261)
Phil!! Good to have you around.

Another win against the Rays. Excellent!
   14. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5510291)
PHIL! PHIL! PHIL!
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: August 10, 2017 at 12:50 AM (#5510306)
Phil--hope all is well!

Don't look now but... we're just 6.5 games back of the Astros... A week ago we were 9.5. I don't think best record in AL is done and dusted just yet.

If we can take 2 of 3 in NY, we'd be 5 up with 45 to play. To me, that's a realistic end goal (especially with Sale starting one of the games). 1 out of 3 wouldn't be awful, and we'd leave NY 3 games up. Basically we just want to avoid the sweep...
   16. John DiFool2 Posted: August 10, 2017 at 07:26 AM (#5510330)
Porcello finally got some runs.
   17. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 10, 2017 at 09:02 AM (#5510356)
That was a weird night for Porcello. I wonder if he's been sick or something because he was absolutely dealing and he got to about 60 pitches and the wheels came off. Credit to Farrell for yanking him with only 85 or so pitches rather than waiting around.
   18. villageidiom Posted: August 10, 2017 at 09:22 AM (#5510370)
Nah, Jose, what happened was that I turned the radio on and started listening to the game. Porcello gave up the HRs almost immediately after that. My bad.
   19. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 10, 2017 at 09:22 AM (#5510371)
Aug. 10:

1903 Cy Young has no-hitter for 7 innings, wins: BOX 7, PHA 2
1917 Babe Ruth HR vs DET (BOX wins 5-4) to CF bleachers at Fenway said to be the longest there
1924 Ty Cobb steals 2nd, 3rd, & HR in DET 13, BOX 7
1943 Bobby Doerr, who only had 118 SB attempts in his career, has 3 in one game for only time: 1 SB & 2 CS. CWS 4, BOX 2
1999 ex-Red Sox Wade Boggs 2nd & final MLB pitching. 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 K (Delino DeShields). BAL 17, TB 1
2001 former Red Sox manager Lou Boudreau dies
2006 Curt Schilling allows 9 2Bs in 1 game - the most by anyone since 1920 (at least). KCR does it. 7.1 IP, 11 H, 5 R/ER, 2W, 7K


   20. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 10, 2017 at 09:28 AM (#5510373)
Nah, Jose, what happened was that I turned the radio on and started listening to the game. Porcello gave up the HRs almost immediately after that. My bad.


Actually I think it was me. My father and I were watching the game in my backyard and as is my custom I would do a lap of the house after each half inning (gotta get those steps in!). Well, I forgot after the top of the sixth.

2006 Curt Schilling allows 9 2Bs in 1 game - the most by anyone since 1920 (at least). KCR does it. 7.1 IP, 11 H, 5 R/ER, 2W, 7K


The 2006 collapse wasn't as brutal as 2011 but I think it was impressive in its diversity. That team just found different and exciting ways to lose every night.
   21. villageidiom Posted: August 11, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5511186)
Because Boston didn't play last night I didn't have Dave O'Brien giving me updates on the standings every five minutes. Somehow I managed to track it anyway.
   22. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 11, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5511204)

Because Boston didn't play last night I didn't have Dave O'Brien giving me updates on the standings every five minutes. Somehow I managed to track it anyway.


By looking on your phone every 5 minutes? Playstation Vue? Roku? ESPN? NESN? Radio? Inquiring minds need to know these things.
   23. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 11, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5511248)
Aug. 11:

1929 Red Ruffing loses, dropping his record to an all-time low 59 games under .500: 33-92
1936 Bill Monbouquette born
1937 Joe Cronin's only 4-K game: 1-for-7: NYY 8, BOX 5 (14). Box down 4-1 at stretch, 2 in btm 7, 1 in btm9. 4-4 until the 14th
1955 2,000 hits: Ted Williams. 1,638 games
1986 Red Sox legend Pablo Sandoval born
1994 MLB players go on strike at the conclusion of today's games. SEA 8, OAK 1 ends 1 AM EST, and that's it

   24. villageidiom Posted: August 11, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5511265)
By looking on your phone every 5 minutes? Playstation Vue? Roku? ESPN? NESN? Radio? Inquiring minds need to know these things.
I called Dave O'Brien every ten minutes.

1936 Bill Monbouquette born
Along with Mike Pagliarulo and Primate Bob Tufts, one of the three Medfordites I'm familiar with who made it to MLB. BB-Ref also counts four others.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: August 11, 2017 at 12:43 PM (#5511290)
I assume it's just coincidence that he was born in the same town as the university that shares his name?
   26. villageidiom Posted: August 11, 2017 at 12:51 PM (#5511297)
I assume it's just coincidence that he was born in the same town as the university that shares his name?
I believe it is.
   27. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 12, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5511821)
Aug. 12:

1907 Ed Walsh has 11 assists in BOX 5, CWS 3 loss
1934 500 doubles: Babe Ruth. In his last game in Fenway. Tips cap to fans when leaves in 6th inning
1943 Joe Cronin hits his 5th pinch hit HR of the year. He has zero pinch hit HR outside this year. In 1943, zero non-pinch hit HR
1961 last game: Chuck Stobbs, former Red Sox pitcher
1974 Matt Clement born
1974 Frank Robinson, now on Angels, walks four times in the game, only time he does it. 4 PA. CAL 4, BOX 2 (1 run for Frank). It's also the 2nd of 3 times in 1974 (& four times overall) Ryan fans 19 in a game. Only time he ever does it in nine innings
1995 MLB debut: Johnny Damon
2006 Manny Ramirez's longest hit streak maxes at 27 games: 40-for-100, 8/0/8 xbh, 14 BB, 19 K. .400/.454/.720
2007 Curt Schilling's longest outing w/out any Ks: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K. BOX loses to BAL, 6-3
2008 Red Sox 19, Rangers 17. Scott Feldman becomes 1st pitcher in 90 years & 9 days to allows 12 runs w/out losing. He's w/ TEX
2008 CLE trade Paul Byrd to BOX

   28. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 12, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5511900)
That Red Sox/Rangers game was insanity. Charlie Zink's only MLB start appearance. Tough to get a 10-0 first inning lead and not get the win. Some fairly amusing names in that game and I don't remember J.D. Drew batting lead off but he did it 8 times that year according to BBRef. I remember Youk being really pumped when he hit the homer.
   29. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 12, 2017 at 07:38 PM (#5512037)
Having Sale in the wings is nice obviously but that's a big win. Don't give the Yankees the opening and don't keep asking Sale to win every start.
   30. villageidiom Posted: August 12, 2017 at 08:18 PM (#5512054)
So here’s what I want to see.

- Boston goes at least 6-4 against NY, and at least 1-1 against Tampa;

...or 7-5 against the combo. They're at 3-1 now, so we're talking about going 4-4 in the remaining games against the Yankees. That is entirely doable.
   31. Chip Posted: August 13, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5512281)
Addison Reed's SSS first 5 appearances in a Sox uniform have been ... not encouraging.
   32. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 13, 2017 at 10:35 AM (#5512286)
Aug. 13:

1908 Cy Young Day in BOX: briefly faces All-Star tem w/ Chesbro, Chase, Keeler, H.Davis, G.Mullin. Given a Loving Cup. 20,000 attend
1924 BOX 6, CWS 0: BOX has one assist behind pitcher Howard Ehmke
1925 MLB debut: Earl Webb (with NYG), the single-season doubles king
1939 Jimmie Foxx reaches base for 49th straight game. 75-for-188, 12 2B, 5 3B, 19 HR, .399/.498/.819. 37 BB
1961 BAL 6, BOX 5 (11). Rare occasion where walk-off-error scores tying and winning runs. 11th ining makes it that much worse
1988 Dwight Evans hits career high 7 RBI: 4-for-5, 1 3B, 2 HR, 1 BB. BOX 16, DET 4. Probably his best game
2010 Tim Wakefield allows a walk-off HR for the only time. Btm 11th TEX-BOX game. TEX 10, BOX 9. Well, only time in the regular season
2012 Johnny Pesky dies at age 93

   33. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 13, 2017 at 11:56 PM (#5512555)
Hot damn that is one hell of a win.

Andrew Benintendi (23-038) plus Rafael Devers (20-247) = 43 years, 285 days. Barstool Colon is 44 years, 81 days.
   34. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 14, 2017 at 12:00 AM (#5512559)
2 out of 3 from NY, 5.5 game lead. Nice win. Without the pen wobbles, would've taken all 3 games. The SP was exceptional.
   35. Chip Posted: August 14, 2017 at 12:01 AM (#5512560)
Also, Addison Reed is a serious concern at this point.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 14, 2017 at 12:05 AM (#5512562)
I kinda want to post something because I'm so ####### fired up right now but I don't really have anything useful plus I thought this was a good post by vi. Stray thoughts;

- Man watching this team is so ####### much fun. All these kids.

- Man I hate this bullpen. As good as they've been there is no one other than Kimbrel I trust for ####.

- Hannibal Lecter Benintendi man...dude's heart rate doesn't get above 40 I don't think.

- Hanley Ramirez is annoying as crap. For a good hitter he has a LOT of really poor at bats in key spots. It is exasperating.

I don't know. I'm all over the place right now. That's a big big series win right there.
   37. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 14, 2017 at 12:09 AM (#5512563)
I'm not too concerned about Reed yet. One nightmare, one meh performance against a great lineup is annoying but not anything close to "serious concern" in my mind. Guy has a track record of success. I kind of wonder if he's a little amped up trying to prove himself to his new team and overthrowing the slider. He hasn't really commanded it the way he can.

But yeah, there is a feeling of "Eric Gagne 2.0" to this I'll admit.
   38. Chip Posted: August 14, 2017 at 12:23 AM (#5512565)
Like I said before tonight: SSS. Which is pretty much all you get from relievers. But sheesh, has his sample been lacking.
   39. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 14, 2017 at 01:04 AM (#5512575)
Aug. 14:

1912 Tris Speaker extends his hitter streak to 20 games, had 30 gamer earlier this year
1963 BOX signs Jim Lonborg as an amateur free agen
1965 Red Sox hit .500, stay under for 4 years (4924-4924)
1996 ex-Red Sox Andre Dawson announces he'll retire at the end of the year
2002 2,000 hits: former Red Sox Ellis Burks. 1,898 games
2003 Manny Ramirez homers on 10th pitch of PA off Keith Foulke: top 9th, down 2-1. Ties game
2006 Pedro Martinez balks for the 1st time since 9-4-97
2008 MLB debut: Red Sox legend Pablo Sandoval
2015 BOX manager John Farrell announces he has lymphoma
   40. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 14, 2017 at 01:13 AM (#5512578)
2006 Pedro Martinez balks for the 1st time since 9-4-97


And just to prove a point, Pedro throws one a little up and in right at the umpire's face just to make sure we know who's your daddy.
   41. villageidiom Posted: August 14, 2017 at 09:22 AM (#5512611)
Barstool Colon is 44 years, 81 days.
This is a most excellent auto-correct.

I don't know. I'm all over the place right now. That's a big big series win right there.
4-1 against TB and NY in The Gauntlet™. They chose the right time to be the hottest team in the AL, to the extent such timing can be chosen.

It was just like a typical Red Sox / Yankees series. They took 2 of 3, but they were very close to either a sweep or losing 2 of 3. Devers came through with the fastest pitch hit for a HR since they started tracking this stuff, which might be more a product of how these things are tracked than anything else, but oh man was that awesome.

I was disappointed in the 10th inning squander... bases loaded and 1 out, but they only got one run. It was enough, but even with Kimbrel on the mound it sure didn't feel like it was enough.
   42. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 14, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5512615)
Am I crazy or did it feel better to have Judge/Sanchez due in the 10th than a bunch of lefties at the bottom of the order? It feels like Kimbrel is still vaporizing righties but he's gone back to struggling with lefties as is Reed.
   43. villageidiom Posted: August 14, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5512639)
Am I crazy or did it feel better to have Judge/Sanchez due in the 10th than a bunch of lefties at the bottom of the order? It feels like Kimbrel is still vaporizing righties but he's gone back to struggling with lefties as is Reed.
For me, the only good feeling wouldn't have been the matchups; it was the final out. Having said that, I don't fear Judge at this point. I'm sure he'll turn things around but he's not scaring me right now.
   44. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 14, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5513020)
That Devers homer was kind of a "Trot vs. Clemens" moment wasn't it? I expect Devers to get a pretty good standing O when he comes up tonight.
   45. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2017 at 08:29 AM (#5513413)
Six games into The Gauntlet™, so let's see where we are.

- Boston goes at least 6-4 against NY, and at least 1-1 against Tampa;
2-1 against NY, 2-0 against Tampa. They need to go 3-4 in their remaining games against NY to stay in line with what I was looking for here.
- Boston goes at least 6-2 against the Cardinals, Orioles, and Jays;
Still true.
- Boston goes 2-3 against the Indians (4 of the games are on the road).
0-1 after last night's misery. They need to split the series in Cleveland to stay in line.

The Red Sox have had a good week, yet they're still in the position of having to hold serve against good teams and dominate the feathered teams. Long way to go still, but they are doing what they need to do.
   46. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 15, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5513447)
Aug. 15:

1916 Ruth beats Walter Johnson 1-0 for 2nd time: 13 innings this time
1940 3rd of 17 grandslams for Ted Williams
1955 13th of 17 grandslams for Ted Williams
1982 BOX receive 3 IW in one inning in 8-0 win over BAL
2015 Jackie Bradley, BOX, gets 14 total bases in one game - the most ever by someone batting 9th in the lineup

   47. Nasty Nate Posted: August 15, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5513454)
2015 Jackie Bradley, BOX, gets 14 total bases in one game - the most ever by someone batting 9th in the lineup
I was curious about Bill Mueller's monster game in 2003. But he was batting eighth and "only" got 12 total bases. Also, you could have given me unlimited guesses, and I wouldn't be able to name the guy who replaced him defensively in the late innings in that game.
   48. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 15, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5513464)
That replaced Mueller? I didn't know he came out. Geez, 2003...was that the Grebeck era?

Oh my...I don't think I've heard of that guy.
   49. villageidiom Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5514375)
Nice win last night. The triple play was a shiny toy, but Porcello continues to pitch well enough and once again got the run support he lacked in the first half of the year.
   50. villageidiom Posted: August 16, 2017 at 07:43 PM (#5514826)
Before the game I was going to give the forecast of a 70% chance of Bad Eduardo tonight. But I didn't want to be seen as jinxing things.
   51. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 16, 2017 at 08:49 PM (#5514893)
Edgar reminds me so much of young Lester, he doesn't know how to deal without his best stuff, he's got to figure that out.
   52. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 16, 2017 at 11:02 PM (#5515010)
That's another win and a well earned day off tomorrow.
   53. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 16, 2017 at 11:03 PM (#5515011)
Having made that comment I thought he went to the changeup after that second inning more and pitched well.

What a win.
   54. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 16, 2017 at 11:03 PM (#5515013)
I'll share this, I'm going to an on field event for season ticket holders tomorrow. That's going to be fun.
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: August 17, 2017 at 06:35 AM (#5515084)
Mookie saves their bacon so often.
   56. villageidiom Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:42 AM (#5515114)
Another series is done, so let's take stock again.
- Boston goes at least 6-4 against NY, and at least 1-1 against Tampa;
4-1 so far. They need to go 3-4 in the rest against NY.
- Boston goes at least 6-2 against the Cardinals, Orioles, and Jays;
They went 2-0 against St. Louis. That leaves a manageable 4-2 vs. the O's and Jays.
- Boston goes 2-3 against the Indians (4 of the games are on the road).
0-1 so far. They need to split in Cleveland, which is possible but a tall task.

Note here that if we count the Yankees, Rays, and Indians as the good opponents, I'm looking for Boston to go 5-6 against good teams and 4-2 against the others, and 9-8 overall, in their next 17. This, after going 6-2 to start The Gauntlet™.

Going into a stretch like this we know they can't afford to fall too far behind the pace in the early stages. They have taken care of business, continuing their hot streak that started before the White Sox came to town. They have put themselves in great position already.
   57. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:49 AM (#5515121)
There are little markers in a season I like to look for and one of them is a point they reached last night, for the first time this year I think. If the Sox play .500 the rest of the way they will win 90 games.
   58. villageidiom Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5515126)
Side note... If the playoffs started today these would be the AL teams, and their W-L, and their pythagorean W-L:

HOU 74-46 74-46
BOS 69-51 70-50
CLE 65-52 71-46
NYY 64-55 71-48
LAA 62-59 60-61

I don't really have a point on that, other than to note that there are two teams in there that are severely underperforming their pythag, and one team with a pythag <.500.
   59. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5515172)
Very encouraging to see Xander hitting the ball hard this week. That really extends the lineup if he's right. They noted that the homer was his first since July 5, gee imagine that.
   60. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:53 AM (#5515176)
Aug. 17:

1904 Jesse Tannehill throws a no-hitter. CWS 6, BOX 0
1940 Ted Williams raps BOX writers & fans - demands BOX trade him to DET
1940 Jimmie Foxx homers in 5th straight game - only time he ever does that. BOX 12, WAS 9
1961 Cle 4, Box 3 (14). No score through 7, then 0-3, 1-3 after 8, 2 in btm 9th for Cle & 1 in 14th. Winning run walked in
1966 BAL scores 5 in 9th for 2nd straight day to win. Today: BAL 8, BOX 4. Yesterday it was 6-4
1967 Tony Conigliaro, BOX hit in face by Jack Hamilton, CAL, pitcher
1971 Voros McCracken, one-time Red Sox employee, born
1982 Only time Wade Boggs ever plays OF: in LF for last four innings of 10-2 loss to CAL
1983 Dustin Pedroia born
2007 BOX trades Wily Mo Pena to DCN
2009 BOX releases John Smoltz
2012 BOX release Mark Prior

   61. dave h Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5515252)
When this thread first went up I thought, "Oh, it's a tough schedule, so they're just asking them to play .600 ball. Huh?" But now it looks entirely realistic.
   62. villageidiom Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5515290)
1940 Ted Williams raps BOX writers & fans - demands BOX trade him to DET

I misread "raps" to include the letter e. That would have been worse.
   63. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5515295)
Aug 9:

1942 1st time all major league game played under lights
1949 Dom DiMaggio's hitting streak ends at 34 vs. NYY. Joe DiMaggio makes shoestrinng catch in 8th to end it

1974: First games played in the middle of a presidential resignation speech. Bill Lee celebrates by beating the World Champion A's.
1979 Dennis Eckersley's 7th straight CG: 7-0, 63 IP, 58 H, 15 R, 13 ER, 16 BB, 41 K. 1.86 ERA
1988 Roger Clemens surrenders only walk-off HR of his career: by Joey Meyer of MIL. MIL 3, BOX 2
1994 Andre Dawson's worst day? 0-for-6 w/ 4 Ks - his only 4 K game
2005 Cubs trade Mike Remlinger & cash to BOX for minor leaguer
2008 Mich Hoffpauir, Iowa Cubs, hits 4 homers & flies out to left in the 9th.
2013 Dan Haren: 13th pitcher to beat all teams. Leiter, K. Brown, Mulholland, Schilling, W.Williams, Moyer, Unit, Zito, Vazquez, Padilla, Lowe, Burnett
2014 LAA 5, BOX 4 (19). Both score once in 14th. 6 hours & 31 minutes. Walk-off HR: Albert Pujols


Added one for you.
   64. villageidiom Posted: August 17, 2017 at 12:36 PM (#5515362)
When this thread first went up I thought, "Oh, it's a tough schedule, so they're just asking them to play .600 ball. Huh?" But now it looks entirely realistic.
I didn't think .600 was a reasonable expectation, but in their first week it looks like I should've taken the over.
   65. Morton's Fork Posted: August 18, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5515985)
Very encouraging to see Xander hitting the ball hard this week. That really extends the lineup if he's right. They noted that the homer was his first since July 5, gee imagine that.


Spot on; if Xander recovers it's a huge addition to the offense. When his swing is under control he combines the abilities to hit to a chosen field and to decide late whether to check his swing on non-strikes or to chop an outside pitch to RF. Very handsy, right? The HBP almost six weeks ago was a big deal, and his production has suffered significantly. Now, though, it does look like (and here's hoping) Bogaerts may be healthy for the stretch run.

Boston seems to think the future's in featuring a bunch of neo-OG #2 hitters: they don't try to pull the ball for power (though they can, at least often enough to satisfy game-theory-optimal requirements), but to stay in the strike zone and make contact. Pedroia, Bogaerts, Vazquez, Holt, and to a certain extent, Benintendi, Betts, and maybe Devers take this approach, although the latter three are blessed with extra power.

   66. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 18, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5516014)
Aug. 18:

1940 Ted Williams says his current salary of $12,500 is peanuts
1967 Jack Hamilton, CAL, beans Ton Conigliaro, BOX in left cheekbone just below the eye socket. Miss rest of the year. Also listed yesterday. Right one of these times
1967 Charles Finley, KCA owner, cuts Ken "Hawk" Harrelson for claling the owner "detrimental to baseball"
1987 2,000 games as manager: John McNamara: 984-1,014
2010 Mike Cameron, BOX, decides to have surgery on torn abdominal muscle. Done for the year
2013 Ryan Dempster, BOX, hits A-Rod on 4th straight pitch trying to hit him. Next time up: A-Rod HR's off Dempster
2015 Ben Cherrington out in Boston, Dave Dombrowski hired as president of baseball operations

   67. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 19, 2017 at 01:18 AM (#5516754)
Fenway was ####### electric tonight. On Tuesday I thought there was a pennant race feel but tonight right from the getgo...man the place was alive.
   68. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:55 AM (#5516801)
Aug. 19:

1939 1st of 17 grandslams for Ted Williams
1958 Gary Gaetti born
1974 MLB debut: Jim Rice
1978 Only time Jim Rice ever plays CF: 6 innings before moving to LF (starting in LF: Carlton Fisk!!)
1979 Dennis Eckersley's 9th straight Quality Start: 8-1, 9 GS, 8 CG, 78 IP, 70 H< 18 R, 16 ER, 17 BB, 48 K. 1.85 ERA
1981 MLB debut: Terry Francona
1986 SEA trades Dave Henderson to BOX
1995 500 doubles: ex-BOXr Andre Dawson
1998 Tim Wakefield only 0 K game w/ 9 IP CG: 11-1. 9 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 5 BB, 0 K
2001 Manny Ramirez hits his 14ths career grand slam, excactly one year after #13
2005 BOX release Mark Belhorn
2010 Roger Clemens indicted on 6 counts of perjury for allegeldy lying during Congressional PED hearings

   69. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5517204)
Aug. 20:

1952 Most hits Bob Lemon ever allows in a game: 9 IP, 15 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. CG W: CLE 18, BOX 8
1964 BAL Boog Powell fractures his right wrist in collision w/ outifield fence in BOX. Out until 9/5
1965 DET lose All-Star SS Dick McAuliffe for the year w/ broken bone in left hand suffering wihle diving into 1st base vs BOX
1967 1st time Reggie Smith homes from both sides of the plate
1973 Carlton Fisk's best WPA HR: 0.672. Top 9th, 1 out, 2 RBI HR when BOX trails TEX 3-4
2013 SFG 3, BOX 2. Walk-off walk to Marco Scutaro w/ 2 out in bottom of ninth. B. Villarreal faces just 1 batter & it's walk-off walk


Not a terribly exciting day in Red Sox history. Watch out prominent opposing players facing the Red Sox on Aug. 20 -- you could be the next to be injured.
   70. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 20, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5517222)
That Villarreal tidbit is one of my favorite things. He faced one batter all year, it was Scutaro and he issued a four pitch walk...but he gets a World Series ring.
   71. Darren Posted: August 20, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5517252)
Theory: a lot of good bats are switching teams for very, very little. The Red Sox should have or should still try to get one of these. I had thought Granderson was a good target but just assumed he wasn't going to be moved.
   72. Chip Posted: August 20, 2017 at 05:29 PM (#5517480)
Well that works.

A LOOGY more reliable than Abad & Scott would be a nice bullpen add.
   73. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 20, 2017 at 05:36 PM (#5517490)
Has Workman moved to the top of the non-Reed/Kimbrel list?

That's a big 10 days right there. Six games against the Yankees with us having the Indians and Cardinals in the middle while they have the Mets and they pick up half a game in that stretch is big. That was a big opportunity for them.
   74. villageidiom Posted: August 20, 2017 at 05:38 PM (#5517496)
Another series done, and I'm not doing the whole routine. But they are playing against a tough schedule at a pace we'd call absurd if we didn't live in a universe where the 2017 Dodgers exist.
   75. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 20, 2017 at 06:19 PM (#5517553)
Well that works.

A LOOGY more reliable than Abad & Scott would be a nice bullpen add.


Long way to go but is David Price an option there? Regular season of course not but let's say he doesn't come back until mid-September and only makes a couple of iffy starts. Would Sale-Pomeranz-Porcello-Edgar be an unreasonable playoff rotation with Price available as a lefty reliever maybe in the mold of Miller last year? I doubt they'd go that route but I actually was thinking of this the other night. One of the five has to go to the bullpen and Price might make the most sense.
   76. Phil Coorey. Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:37 PM (#5517578)
I know a lot of people say we dodged a huge bullet not getting Frazier for obvious reasons. However, I'm really glad based on the 3 times I've seen Sonny Grey pitch this year that the Sox were never in on him.

Good to see Reed settling down, his outs Friday night were a huge turning point for his time here

Anyway, hope all are well.


   77. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 20, 2017 at 08:46 PM (#5517625)
Would Sale-Pomeranz-Porcello-Edgar be an unreasonable playoff rotation


Ironically enough and based on the world's tiniest sample size of each starter's last start your weak link is...Chris Sale!

   78. Nasty Nate Posted: August 21, 2017 at 07:42 AM (#5517721)
Long way to go but is David Price an option there? Regular season of course not but let's say he doesn't come back until mid-September and only makes a couple of iffy starts. Would Sale-Pomeranz-Porcello-Edgar be an unreasonable playoff rotation with Price available as a lefty reliever maybe in the mold of Miller last year? I doubt they'd go that route but I actually was thinking of this the other night. One of the five has to go to the bullpen and Price might make the most sense.
This makes sense.

And it's not predictive, but I can't help but noting that what little postseason success he's had was in that role in aught-eight.
   79. villageidiom Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5517753)
OK, I'll do the full routine.

2 at .513: 2-0
3 at .536: 2-1
1 vs. .541: 0-1
2 vs. .500: 2-0
3 vs. .536: 2-1
---------------
subtotal
11 vs. .526: 8-3
===============
4 at .541
3 vs. .500
3 at .469
4 at .536
---------------
14 at .515: ???

Based on the 15-10 mark I'd set for them at the start, they'd need to go just 7-7 in this next stretch to get there. How are y'all feeling about that?

To me it's this: Cleveland could be a painful start to this stretch. The rest of it I'm not worried about much. I mean, sure, it could all go sideways damn fast. I'm never comfortable with them in Toronto, and NY has played them pretty closely even when Boston comes out on top. But the way they're playing right now I don't feel too worried about 7-7, but in a few days I might feel miserable about it.
   80. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:45 AM (#5517767)
Aug. 21:

1916 Jack Barry, BOX, has four sacrifies in 4-0 win over CLE
1926 Ted Lyons throws no-hitter. CWS 6, BOX 0
1936 Wes Ferrell has tantrum vs NYY: walks off mound due to shabby support. BOX fines him $1,000. He did same thing on 8/16
1962 MIL plays exhitiion game vs BOX: Braves return to Boston: Warren Spahn fans Yaz in 1st inning. Jimmy Fund benefit
1991 Wade Boggs's 2nd career walkoff HR is his highest HR WPA ever: .657. 2-run, down 3-4, 0 out in btm 9th
2000 Best known WPA game by BOX bat: Brian Daubach: 1.251. 3-for-5, 1 HR, 1 run, 4 RBI, BOX 7, ANA 6

   81. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 22, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5518340)
Aug. 22:

1934 Wes Ferrell hits 2 HR in 3-2 win vor BOX over CWS.
1934 Walk-off homer by pitcher: Wes Ferrell, .his 1st of 2
1939 Carl Yastrzemski born
1951 Tommy Byrne, NYY, walks 16 BOX batters in 3-1 BOX win in 13 innings. BOX strand 22 runners.

   82. Textbook Editor Posted: August 22, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5518519)
I'd like to suggest that they should perhaps consider DL'ing Barnes to give him a 10-day rest and then take things from there. I know with 9/1 coming up if you did it now you'd lose him for days in September that maybe you wouldn't want to, but he just doesn't seem right and maybe he just needs to clear his head, work on mechanics, etc.

I'd also guess Workman starts getting Barnes' workload going forward.

Last night's game was frustrating as all hell.
   83. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 22, 2017 at 01:10 PM (#5518557)
I had a similar thought last night that Barnes might be hurt. He hasn't looked right for awhile now.

This bullpen man...I don't care what they do I just don't trust them. Kimbrel is the only reliable guy out there and maybe Reed but I'm not there yet. Beyond those two guys there isn't anyone I look at and think "OK, we got this." The frustrating thing about last night is that with Fister for us tonight and Kluber tomorrow for them we could be looking to Sale to dodge a sweep. This thing could be 2 1/2 before the we get home. I suspect the Tigers will take one off the Yankees and I wouldn't be shocked if we won one of the next two just because baseball.

All that said I'm still confident we are winning the division though I don't expect it to be a breeze. We've been great at avoiding losing streaks and I see no reason that is going to change now. If that continues to be the case we are fine.
   84. villageidiom Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5518791)
This bullpen man...I don't care what they do I just don't trust them. Kimbrel is the only reliable guy out there and maybe Reed but I'm not there yet. Beyond those two guys there isn't anyone I look at and think "OK, we got this."


In another 10 days they get whoever they want from the minors up to help, at a minimum to buy some rest for the guys they have now. Carson Smith and Ben Taylor are rehabbing in Pawtucket. Not that any of these guys down there are The Solution. But even to prevent the guys they have from getting overextended, that would be nice. The trouble is that it's 10 days away, and people need that break now.
   85. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:18 PM (#5519114)
Doug Fister - - Complete Game Shutdown Specialist!

A great win in Cleveland...who had Fister throwing a 1 hitter AND the offense pummelling Carrasco? Baseball is a funny game sometimes.
   86. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:24 PM (#5519119)
Yeah didn't really see that one coming. That's a big outing not just the win but to give the bullpen a night off.
   87. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 23, 2017 at 12:01 AM (#5519133)
That's a big outing not just the win but to give the bullpen a night off.


I was pretty stoked to see them pad the lead. At 3-1 and the pen looming I was thinking here comes another meltdown....
   88. villageidiom Posted: August 23, 2017 at 06:54 AM (#5519161)
So what was the deal with the play on Bradley at the plate? Watching the replay I was sure he was out.
   89. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 07:08 AM (#5519162)

So what was the deal with the play on Bradley at the plate? Watching the replay I was sure he was out.


I think he was able to get his hand over the tag and touch the plate before Gomes could sweep back and touch Bradley's arm. It was confirmed he was safe, and not just called safe due to catcher blocking the plate. Really hope he doesn't go all Bogaerts-with-a-hand-injury cant hit for #### the rest of the way.
   90. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 23, 2017 at 09:35 AM (#5519207)
Aug. 23:

1938 Jimmie Foxx: Walkoff Grandslam off Willie Hudlin. BOX 14, CLE 12. CLE led 6-0 (mid2) and still led 10-6 (mid8)


Er, I assume there's more than that, but if so I missed it. Sorry.
   91. villageidiom Posted: August 25, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5520869)
2 at .513: 2-0
3 at .536: 2-1
1 vs. .541: 0-1
2 vs. .500: 2-0
3 vs. .536: 2-1
4 at .541: 2-2
---------------
subtotal
15 vs. .530: 10-5
===============
3 vs. .500
3 at .469
4 at .536
---------------
10 at .505: ???

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling great about them going at least 5-5 in that stretch.

I am worried about Sale. He's looked unspectacular across his last few outings. The rest of the team is moving along like a win assembly line right now, so I hope he's not trying to play through an injury or something.
   92. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 25, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5520904)
I am worried about Sale. He's looked unspectacular across his last few outings. The rest of the team is moving along like a win assembly line right now, so I hope he's not trying to play through an injury or something.


I don't think you need to worry. One bad inning against the Yankees and one genuinely horrible start. His two starts before that; 7 IP 1 run versus the Yanks and 8 shutout innings versus Tampa. In fact going back to June 15 8 of his last 13 starts are 1 run or less. I think the Indians are for whatever reason a bad matchup for him (per WEEI 5 of his 12 career games of 6 or more runs allowed are against the Tribe).

Back to The GauntletΩ for a moment. They've managed well so far. After the Yankee series they have 8 series left; 7 against sub-.500 teams and a four game series against a Houston team that is going to be looking to rest and set up pitching more than anything else. They've put themselves in position to get this done.
   93. villageidiom Posted: August 25, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5520926)
Back to The GauntletΩ for a moment. They've managed well so far. After the Yankee series they have 8 series left; 7 against sub-.500 teams and a four game series against a Houston team that is going to be looking to rest and set up pitching more than anything else. They've put themselves in position to get this done.
That's what I was hoping for in The Gauntlet⚾.
   94. villageidiom Posted: August 30, 2017 at 08:48 AM (#5523347)
Five games later and everything has changed, or maybe nothing has.
I don't know about you, but I'm feeling great about them going at least 5-5 in that stretch.
2-3 so far, and not feeling as good.
I am worried about Sale. He's looked unspectacular across his last few outings. The rest of the team is moving along like a win assembly line right now, so I hope he's not trying to play through an injury or something.
Sale's looking great, and the rest of the team didn't look so hot last weekend.

3-2 in their next five. Likeliest path there would be a win in Toronto today and a split in the Bronx. So after talking about a 25-game stretch where they needed to set themselves up for a good stretch run it comes down mostly to a 4-game set against the second-place team on their turf. This weekend is The Gauntlet⚠.
   95. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 30, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5523399)
All along I've felt like if the Sox could be in first place on Labor Day they would be in really good shape due in part to the schedule. They should be able to get there even if they go 1-4 over the next five games. I'd like to just put the division away this weekend but that's probably optimistic. Still, even 2-3 this week and finishing The GauntletϮ 14-11 would be great. Even if the Yanks went 5-1 we would have a 1 1/2 game lead.

Tonight will be interesting. I don't know how the bullpen gets managed. Presumably no Kimbrel or Reed, this might be Workman and Scott to set up and Kelly to close tonight.
   96. villageidiom Posted: August 30, 2017 at 11:38 AM (#5523466)
Based on season results to date when faced with a bullpen dilemma, either we should expect Porcello to throw a complete game or they're playing 14 innings tonight.
   97. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 30, 2017 at 12:10 PM (#5523487)
Aug. 30:

1906 BoX manager Jimmy Collins suspended for leaving on a holiday w/out permission. Team is 35-79
1916 Dutch Leonard throws nohitter BOX over STB. Yesterday they knocked him out of the 1st inning
1918 Ted Williams born
1945 1-hitter: Bill Bevens, NYY. Retires first 18 BOX, then walk & Bob Johnson double. NYY wins 7-1
1960 Pete Runnels, BOX< gets 6 hits in a game - 15 innings. 9 hits in d-header vs DET
1960 Jim Bunning allows 6 Boston doubles in CG L 9.1 iP, 10 H 3 R, 2 eR, 3 BB, 10 K
1997 Nomar Garciaparra, BOX, goes hitless, ending 30 game streak. ATL 15, BOX 2
2008 500 doubles: Manny Ramirez

   98. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 30, 2017 at 10:09 PM (#5523800)
Based on season results to date when faced with a bullpen dilemma, either we should expect Porcello to throw a complete game or they're playing 14 innings tonight.


Not a complete game but a nice bounce back against a team that he has had issues with.
   99. villageidiom Posted: August 31, 2017 at 06:40 AM (#5523876)
Funny, when I posted that I had this notion in the back of my mind that the ideal would be a 2016 Porcello outing where he goes 7 and leaves with a big lead the bullpen can't blow. I couldn't bring myself to say it. It seemed wrong even to express it.

...kind of like saying "what I want to see is Boston doing a little better against these teams in this stretch than they’ve played to date this season." That's what The GauntletⓊ is all about.

13-8 in this stretch. Let's not lose the next series.
   100. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 08, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5528626)
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